The Kynzvart Daguerreotype – The Birth of Modern Visual Media

Documentary heritage submitted by Czech Republic and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2017.

The nominated document is the Kynzvart daguerreotype (KD) by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851), inventor of daguerreotypy. It was made by Daguerre in 1839. Before public disclosure of daguerreotypy in the French Academy of Sciences on 19 August 1839, Daguerre donated it to Austrian Chancellor Metternich (1773–1859).

Daguerreotypy is the oldest practicable photographic process suitable for everyday use not requiring extremely long exposure times. KD is one of the oldest daguerreotype specimens worldwide. It is a highly important document of a new type of visual information carrier. The value of KD stems from the fact that it is a unique representative of the birth of a new medium which fundamentally influenced the development of human society. Despite preceding, contemporary and subsequent inventions in photography, the daguerreotypy is still considered as the birth of photography.

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